Monday, February 8, 2010

VW Herald Cycle Tour

The prestigious VW Herald Cycle Tour celebrated its 25th year anniversary and with absolutely perfect conditions on the day, the likes of which I’ve never seen before in Port Elizabeth, the organizers had gone out of their way to pull out all the stops this year!
With racing going on around the country, we had decided to split our team up and it was important for us to support the Herald Cycle Tour as VW, a naming sponsor of the event, are also a big sponsor of ours. Unfortunately, Brad Potgieter, a key rider in the team had an accident before leaving to come down, so effectively it left only myself and fast man Juan van Heerden to fend off an aggressive bunch!
Being out numbered we would always have our work cut out for us, Team House of Paint had their full squad, and Barry Austins u23 CSA/Cyclelab boys were ready to try win another big race following their previous weekends success. Throw into the mix all the local teams and some Cape Town riders and the racing was fast and aggressive, but very exciting!
House of Paint took the racing to everyone when soon after the start, they began to attack in twos, forcing us to follow every move that went off the front. However the only significant move happened over the KOM at Theescombe climb when myself and Chris Jennings (U23/Cyclelab) rode away and built a decent gap. Tiaan Kannemeyer (House of Paint) and Johan van Zyl (U23/Cyclelab) rode across to us and with the two youngsters and myself committing hard and rolling through together, I really thought for a change that this move might make it! However House of Paint weren’t happy with the make up and over Maitlands climb they closed the break down, leaving the rest of the bunch in pieces.
However the racing was still on as guys tried various moves to ride away, but all unsuccessful as the bigger teams kept sending numbers across. At one stage with about 25km to go, a group of about 15 got away, I was there but well out numbered. I began to save my some what tired legs for a sprint finish but with 10km left to go, Juan was back with the full House of Paint team. They began setting it up for their sprinter and had the whole team on the front in the last 5km. I was looking after Juan, keeping him out the wind. He actually had the best lead out and just sat on the wheel of Dean Edwards, as I swept his wheel for him. Juan came around Dean in the final 200m and simply blasted past him to take the prestigious Herald title and open his winning account for 2010! I managed to finish 6th after sitting up watching my team mate take the victory, but that 6th place also gave us the first team prize on the day.
All in all a great weekend of racing for our team across the country in all the disciplines of the sport!
Next race, possibly the Construction du Cap in Cape Town, followed by a really busy period consisting of all my major goals for the year! Till then, cheers.
Kevin Evans

Provisional results:
1st Juan Van Heerden (MTN/Energade)
2nd Dean Edwards (House of Paint)
3rd Arnold Rust
4th Chris Jennings (U23/Cyclelab)
5th (Appologies?)
6th Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)